Dapo Salami, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, reiterated the his administration’s commitment to implementing only policies that mirrors the real needs of the people.
Makinde said the budgeting process in the State would continually remain open, transparent and all-inclusive as the State held a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the 2021 Budget in Ibadan on Thursday.
The governor reeled out projects achieved through the 2020 budget despite the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, giving assurance that the 2021 budget would achieve much more.
According to Makinde, the State made use of an initiative called Alternative Prjocet Funding Approach (APFA) where the contractor funds the project while the government pays over several budgeting cycles.
He noted that this has been productive, leading to the execution of several projects across the State.
He called on residents of the state to be involved in the budget consultative process which he said, would take place in seven locations across the State.
He also stated that the execution of ongoing projects, including the 21-km Ajia-Airport Road, with a spur to Amuloko; the remodelling of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba; the Light-Up Oyo project, as well as the ongoing construction of four Bus Interchanges; OYSADA headquarters and upgrade of health facilities, became possible due to the government’s innovations in financial management and targeted borrowing.
He said: “I have always said that I am in this position today because it is the will of the people and of God, so, I am determined to continue to pursue and expand policies that will show that I respect the yearnings of the people.
“One of the ways our administration has done this is by ensuring that our communities are involved in the budgeting process, last year, we produced our first budget, which we tagged “The People’s Budget” because we came out and engaged in town hall meetings and sought your input, you spoke and we listened, you made it clear that you wanted more capital projects and infrastructural development, you indicated that payment of salaries and gratuities was a sore point.
“As a result, of last year’s budget of N213.8Billion, capital expenditure was pegged at N103.4Billion, while recurrent expenditure had a value of N110.4Billion.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened, additionally, the fall in oil prices affected federal allocations to States, we had to slash the budget.
“However, we decided that whatever cuts we were making, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, and other emoluments to the State workforce will not be affected, after the reductions, recurrent expenditure remained N108.9Billion while capital projects took a 36.9 per cent hit and came down to N65.2Billion.
“Still, we have found ways of ensuring that some planned infrastructure projects could still be carried out, for example, we introduced the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), where the contractors execute the entire project with their own money before the government repays over several budgeting cycles.
“The ongoing reconstruction of the 21km Airport Road-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko and the remodelling of Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, are products of this funding approach.
“We also had the Contractor’s Project Financing Scheme, through this scheme, Oyo State contributes an initial percentage of the contract sum while the contractor brings the rest, the government then has the grace of paying over several budgeting cycles, the recently flagged off ‘Light Up Oyo State’ (Phase 2) project, is being facilitated using this financing model.
“We also embarked on targeted borrowing, we are grateful to the State legislature, led by Honourable Debo Ogundoyin, for approving infrastructural loans, we have begun constructions such as the bus terminals at Iwo Road, New Ife Road, Challenge and Ojoo in Ibadan; the remodelling of OYSADA headquarters at Saki, Oke-Ogun; upgrading of Primary Healthcare Centres and other healthcare facilities, just last week, we were at Saki to commission the Saki Specialist Hospital.
“Other projects we have embarked on include supply and installation of all-in-one Solar Powered Street Lights for the illumination of some market places, selected hospitals and quite a few public places across the geo-political zones in the State, we have also embarked on the ‘Operation Zero Potholes’ in Oyo State.
“We also have procured new truck-mounted drilling rigs with a compressor to improve our water supply, five fire-fighting trucks and ten ambulances, the implementation of the 2020 budget has indeed touched every sector of the Oyo State economy that you told us you wanted to see working.
“We were able to carry out these people-centred projects because we started off the budget year by asking you the question: What would you like us to do for you?
“And so, we are back this year on a similar mission. And this time, we are expanding the process and making it even more open and transparent, last year, town hall meetings were held in the three senatorial districts, this year, we are upping the ante, town hall meetings will be held in the seven geopolitical zones of the State.”
Earlier, in his address, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto, backed up the governor’s speech, affirming the transparency of the Makinde-led administration.
He revealed that the current administration got access to some grants from the States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) program supported by the World Bank, leading to the solidification of bi-lateral and multi-lateral relationships.
He further disclosed that the State has commenced the preparation of a standard blueprint that would articulate various developmental goals of the government from 2021-2041.